Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Periscope 101: "Katch Me" on this new social media platform!

Are you guys on Periscope yet? Its (finally) officially the wedding offseason and RIGHT in the middle of one of my busiest stretches, I discovered this great app. Its a great tool to display your art, get a message/announcement out to small business owners and just have fun with your peers!

Step 1.
Download the app

Step 2.
Log in with your Twitter handle (make sure you are happy with your handle because I'm STILL trying to get my Periscope handle changed from @CTDESIGNSINC to @CalligraphybyCT (it apparently takes a while because you have to go through Periscope's help dept. which is right now still a pretty small team).

Step 3.
Add a profile description and start following some of your peers!

Step 4.
I know its scary, but go ahead and get your FIRST live broadcast out of the way! My first broadcast just had me introducing myself and showing some of my work, seriously, it was so simple. Make SURE you check your twitter icon on the broadcast interface... Your broadcast will be automatically tweeted to your followers.

Step 5.
Go to Katch.me and follow the prompts so you can archive your broadcasts/streams (if you choose to). Note, you can also set your broadcasts to autosave to your android or ios device as well. You can periscope from either a phone or a tablet.

Snippet from one of my earliest periscopes... 
Writing on some wine glass chalkboard stems.

Thanks for reading this Periscope "primer" and I hope to see you guys out there soon!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Limited Time Offer: Fratello Nick™ Font (60% OFF)

I am SUPER excited to be sharing a special, limited time offer on a brand spanking new font designed by my colleague Deb Sementelli of Lettering Art Studio. Deb is behind some pretty spectacular font creations that graphic and invitation designers have grown to love... Cantoni™, Dom Loves Mary™ and Belluccia™.

This font is landing at a perfect time. SO many ornaments, frames and also, my favorite, a set of initial cap fonts. You should NOT be designing your holiday cards without this font in your arsenal!

Use the following link: 

and enter the code: CT Calligraphy in order to get an additional 10% off the already outrageous introductory offer of 50% off. That's a total of 60% off guys, don't miss out! This link expires in TEN DAYS so don't put off your purchase!

Take care and I'll be back soon,

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Pardon My Dust: Rebranding Effort Underway (Calligraphy by CT)

Hey guys... Wanted to let you know, that I am actually in the middle of a rebranding effort that includes, unbelievably, a change in my business name. Yes. After 8 years of doing business as "CT-Designs", I am changing the name to "Calligraphy by CT".

A few reasons that this is happening:
  1. Over the last couple of seasons, I have started to do calligraphy almost exclusively. The popularity of wedding signage has also pointed towards a more "artistic" approach to my work. I still do stationery, but on a very, very limited basis. Very tough to do both graphic design and hand lettering in the same space, at the same time.

  2. The "CT" in my business name has deceptively suggested to a lot of potential clients that I'm located in Connecticut. I'm HAPPY to work with clients on the East Coast, but many times these clients are looking for a local vendor to partner with.

  3. The word calligraphy in my business name title will assist in Google searches and SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
I haven't changed everything over yet, but I'm working on the website and switching my DNS servers to the new email. Etsy needs to be tackled as well. My Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts have all been changed however. I'll likely delete the Tumblr account since I rarely "Tumble" anymore anyway!

The saddest part is the I'll likely be leaving blogger because there is a blog already incorporated/embedded in my new website. I'd love for users to have a more "seamless" experience and this blog will still always be available for people to peruse. I just won't be updating it after December.

Thanks so much to all of my loyal followers and I hope to retain your interest as I pull the business through this rebrand!

Take care til' next time,

Monday, September 28, 2015

Mirror Seating Charts 2015

Wanted to share some of the work that I've been doing this season. The mirror seating charts have gone viral. Its the end of September and I still have quite a few left. Amazing. Get some inspiration from some of the following creations!

Kieosha and Roderick at Brookfield Zoo... Such a pretty venue. It was my first time there. This was a rental. Thanks Anika Kai Events!

Adler Planetarium mirror that was truly the LONGEST element that I've ever lettered at 6'. Thanks Dejanae Events, this one was EPIC.

Mirrored Menus for the same Brookfield Zoo wedding. These were so pretty.

Polishing prior to placing on the tables...

Ahhh! These were so much fun. Table name mirrors for Cheri D Events. Loved this project, thanks!

Karen and Nick's wedding was spectacular. I also did some chalkboard work for them. I'll share in my "chalkboard 2015" post. Yeah, it was that kind of a year for me!
Charming mirror displayed at Ignite Glass Studios for Danielle and Wale. Another Kesh Events production!
I got a chance to do THREE mirrors for a spectacular wedding at the Waldorf. I mean, it was amazing. Kesh Events outdid herself this time, seriously. Also photographed by the great Carasco Photo, what more could I ask for... This is a rental item, email me about this EPIC mirror!
Mirror number two from the Waldorf... Another rental. 21" x 25"

Finally mirror number three... Gold frame. Always elegant. Rental. 24" x 36"

All three, yeah, I'm a little obsessed! 

Another mirror for the Adler Planetarium at the end of August. It was SO large (41" x 60"), I had to work on it in my basement and have it picked up. Largest and heaviest mirror to date!

Baby mirror I did that was supplied by the client... Kesh Events.

It was time for the march of the Etsy requests!!! Sent this one to Maryland mid-August. 

Rehearsal Dinner request from Etsy that was sent to NYC!

...More August... These two beauties were beautifully displayed by Tying the Knot events. Just gorgeous, thanks guys! First time I had one wedding/guest list spread over two mirrors! The Bridgeport Art Center Skyline Loft was also spectacular.

Another view prior to the barrel display setup. So much fun!

Sola and Olu's client supplied 38" x 60" mirror had over 250 lines. My largest LINE count to date. Gorgeous setup as you can see in the reflection at Harold Washington Library. Another Kesh Events wedding, thanks so much!
[UPDATE]: Pretty, ornate mirror done for clients getting married in October.

Take care til' next time,

Monday, August 10, 2015

Planner Decoration Trend

Image taken from: BelindaSelene.com

Where have I been? Not only on this blog, but just in general? Apart from lettering hundreds of envelopes and wedding signage, I recently stumbled into some planner "addicts" on Instagram and have found myself making the pages in my planner more and more personal and decorative.

Its a movement. Seriously.

Think washi tape, stickers, flags, doodles... I mean its all the stuff I love, bonded to pages that I NEED to keep my life in order. Again, who knew and what else exactly do you need in life to be happy?  SUPER excited about this trend!

I've put together some info below for you to learn more about these AWESOME crafters who are in and also lead the movement. Also some resource info if you'd like to get started. Go ahead. Dive in! This is so much fun and a welcome break from stressing about wedding deadlines and projects.

Instagram Hashtags

These will get you started. It looks like there are supplies, challenges, monthly subscriptions to special kits, themes, it goes on and on. I even found an Instagram user that combines "lettering" and "journal decorating" LlamasLetters -- I think I'm in heaven.

Planner Decorator/Designers I like
This list is absolutely NOT exhaustive. I haven't even known about the trend long enough to give you an informed, perfectly curated list, but THESE are the ones that I've lingered on and gotten the best info from. I'm sure there are dozens and dozens of others!

@YesPleasePlanning is the FIRST page that I bumped into and it was love at first sight. Meka is fun and she has dozens of different journals that she decorates. Make this your first stop too!

Belinda is a popular Vlogger, but she is also a planner addict and she's got great advice and beautiful pics!

Cori Spieker actually teaches a comprehensive online planner decoration workshop... Yeah, that's an actual thing. She's also got her hands in other pots, check her out. She's got 55k followers on IG so you know she's bringing it.
Christy Tomlinson of the Planner Society is also partnered with Cori to teach the workshop and also offers monthly subscriptions to crafting supplies for your planner. I wish you didn't have to START with a 3-month commitment. I'm planning to keep poking around to find a "lighter" offer.

Planning Supplies on Etsy
Now you just KNEW Etsy would already be front and center on this trend... Type in "planner supplies" and go shopping!

Yes, I KNOW I've been M.I.A. this wedding season. I should have gotten an intern. Things are just on another level business-wise. I miss all of you though and am working on some blogs now so I can make a comeback very soon!

This trend inspired me enough though to blow the dust off my keyboard and let you guys in on one of my current loves! Take care and I promise I won't stay away so long next time.


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Surprise Postage Increase (2015) U.S.P.S.

Looks like after the U.S.P.S. officially reported on Jan. 15th that postage would NOT be going up... They increased the rates anyway...

It took effect on May 30th, 2015. Kind of out of nowhere and RIGHT in the middle of wedding invitation season. Pretty strange.

...So, for the 2 oz. stamp, which is what most typical wedding invitation suites use, the price WAS $.70. --> $.49 (1 ounce rate) + $.21 (for an additional ounce). NOW, with this subtle, out of nowhere increase, the cost is now $.71. Several brides and wedding planners have had to couple their postage with a 1¢ stamp. How inconvenient.

Wanted to finally put this blog out so that if you are still planning on mailing invitations this season, plan accordingly.

In another strange turn of events, it looks like the U.S.P.S. prior increase from $.46 - $.49 that occurred back in 2013 will actually not be permanent. That MAJOR increase, which violated the Consumer Price Index at the time, was supposed to help with losses incurred from the 2008-09 recession. The USPS tried to make this increase permanent, but a D.C. appeals court ruled that they actually cannot. This happened in early June. At the time of this posting however, it is NOT clear when they will have to roll back this $.49 rate and by how much. Stay tuned!

Take care til' next time, 

Friday, June 12, 2015

2015 Summer Calligraphy Classes! Paper Source (Illinois)

MORE calligraphy courses at Paper Source in June, July and August! Come out and join me if you can, its a GREAT way to spend the summer!


SAT. JUNE 13, 2015
**Introduction to Calligraphy**
Southport Paper Source
3543 N. Southport Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 880-0489 | Noon - 3:30P

SAT. JUNE 20, 2015
**Introduction to Calligraphy**
Oak Brook Paper Source
433 Oakbrook Center
Oak Brook, IL 60523
(773) 880-0489 | Noon - 3:30P


SAT. JULY 25, 2015
**Calligraphy II: Dip Pen and Ink**
Southport Paper Source
3543 N. Southport Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 880-0489 | Noon - 3:30P


SAT. AUGUST 1st, 2015
**Calligraphy II: Dip Pen and Ink**
Oak Brook Paper Source
433 Oakbrook Center
Oak Brook, IL 60523
(773) 880-0489 | Noon - 3:30P

SAT. AUGUST 22, 2015
**Introduction to Calligraphy**
Naperville Paper Source
215 Main St.
Naperville, IL 60540
(630) 778-8925 | 11:00A - 2:30P

SUN. AUGUST 23, 2015
**Introduction to Calligraphy**
Southport Paper Source
3543 N. Southport Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 880-0489 | Noon - 3:30P

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